Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Billionaire May Have Lived with Wife’s Rotting Corpse for Weeks in London Mansion

Eva Rausing. Myspace photo.

The corpse of Eva Rausing, a troubled billionaire heiress who was found dead in a $109 million house in the posh Chelsea neighborhood of London, may have been left rotting in her bedroom for up to four weeks while her husband continued to live there, according to a report in the Daily Mail.

After policed arrested Hans Kristian Rausing, Rausing’s husband, for drug possession, the couple’s Filipino employee tried to block the police from entering her room, shouting “out of bounds, out of bounds” when they went to the house looking for drugs, according to the Daily Mail. The couple was living in the house in reportedly squalid conditions while rarely leaving the top floors of the five-story mansion.

The police found Rausing’s body in such a decomposed state that only a chemical analysis of her remains can determine a more precise time of death, but authorities say that she could have lay dead in her room for up to four weeks. Coroners were unable to determine the cause of Eva Rausing’s death during the initial autopsy, but subsequent toxicology reports and other tests should reveal more details about her death, which police say could be a homicide.

Rausing’s husband, who lived in the house while the smell of her body decomposing pervaded the entire house, is under watch at a London hospital suffering from what authorities say is a mental breakdown and drug withdrawal. Police first pulled over the heir to a $7 billion estate that he shares with this wife for driving erratically in the Wandsworth area of London. After finding an undisclosed amount of crack cocaine in the car, police apprehended Hans Rausing and then placed him under guarded care at the London hospital. Investigators subsequently began investigating Hans Rausing for what British reports says might be a murder upon the discovery of Rausing’s body. Police are expected to begin questing Hans Rausing as early as this week pending the success of his treatment at the hospital.

Eva Rausing’s death is a tragic conclusion to her long history of addiction troubles that she shared with her husband. In 2008, the U.S.-born heiress was arrested with her husband for attempting to smuggle drugs into the U.S. Embassy in London. A search of their Chelsea house after the embassy bust revealed their personal stash of cocaine and heroin. The couple avoided a jail sentence by agreeing to enter a drug treatment program.

Eva Rausing. Myspace photo.

After their arrest, Eva Housing showed signs that not only she was suffering from bouts with drug addiction, but that she feared for her life as well.
In an email the Daily Mail published this week that Eva Housing wrote in January 2010 but never sent to her father-in-law, the mother of four wrote that she expected to die soon: “I realize that I will die and there is a part of me that desperately does not want to die and wants to fight, fight, fight but I am sliding and I am desperately calling to you for help,” she wrote. “If nothing changes I will die, Hans. I just felt that I did not want to die without trying everything that I possibly could to reach you and to ask you to please help me. Your son feels very, very hopeless. Although I stick close to him, I am losing my grip because I am weakening.”

On her still active Myspace page, she wrote that her musical interests in Nirvana, Ziggy Stardust, and Radiohead were good for “gloomy moods.” “Could say I’ve been a wee bit down lately!” Rausing wrote.

Rausing also posted on her Myspace page about falling “back into the same hole as before and have been there for nearly seven years.” “I once read that I would have seven bad years (I don’t normally believe in hocus pocus horoscopes) but so far it has been right, and I’m hoping for seven good years starting 2007,” she wrote. “I’m still married, amazingly, to a very kind, patiend [sic] and loyal husband. I’m very lucky that he has stuck with me-many would have not.”

During the weeks and months leading up to Rausing’s death, friends and relatives were unable to establish contact with either Eva or Hans Rausing. Her sister reportedly visited the house in June, but was unable to find Rausing at home. Eva and Hans Rausing also looked disheveled in photos that London’s paparazzi press published earlier this year during the rare occasions when the couple left the house.

Despite Rausing’s personal problems, she continued to make generous donations to charitable foundations. In 2006, she wrote a $391,000 check to the Raisa Gorbachev Foundation. She also reportedly donated millions of dollars to drug rehabilitation clinics in the UK and in Barbados, although there is little evidence that she or her husband received treatment at the facilities that she helped to fund.

See Also:

Woman Keeps Dead Roommate in Living Room for 19 Months

Police: Man Kept Wife Bound in Chains for Ten Years

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